Chicago Bears: 5 Free agents to sign before training camp

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Lamar Miller (Photo by Rob Leiter via Getty Images)

5. Lamar Miller, RB

With David Montgomery, Tarik Cohen and occasionally Cordarrelle Patterson, some people feel the Chicago Bears are set at running back. Here’s the thing, though. Patterson is a jack player, meaning he plays all over the place. The Bears could put him outside or slot wide receiver, running back or even tight end (as bad as the tight ends were last season, Patterson volunteered to play at the position to help out).

Cohen is a gadget player. He shouldn’t be taking too many snaps running between the tackles. Doing so will cause him some pain. He was effective in 2018 playing primarily from the slot where he could play with plenty of space. When he ran, he was successful running around the outside.

In 2019, however, Cohen ran the ball between the tackles. Montgomery’s primary backup, Mike Davis, was waived by the Bears early on in the season but the team never replaced him. They also waived rookie Kerrith Whyte. That made Cohen the main backup and he had to run between the tackles more than he needed. As a result, his average yards per carry went from 4.5 in 2018 to 3.3 in 2019.

There are many running backs still available. Some of them know Nagy’s system and can do a good job at backing up Montgomery. Devonte Freeman and Isaiah Crowell can help. LeSean McCoy and Spencer Ware have experience playing in head coach Matt Nagy’s system.

Nagy is an Andy Reid disciple and he runs a similar system to his mentor. McCoy played in that system in both Philadelphia and Kansas City. He has experience with Nagy and new Bears offensive coordinator Bill Lazor. Ware played under Reid and Nagy in Kansas City.

Lamar Miller is probably the best option. He was a Pro Bowl player in 2018 but suffered a torn ACL and MCL the next season. He’s trying to show he’s over his injuries and the Bears have a history of signing reclamation projects (see their current roster). He could sign a one year, “prove it” deal.

Playing behind Montgomery Miller won’t have to worry about taking a lot of snaps. He could play hard with the limited number of carries to show he could do more. If he could help Montgomery get some rest he’ll earn himself a bigger contract and Montgomery could have a breakout season. Additionally, Cohen won’t have to be the main backup.

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